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New Flyer introduces first 60-foot hydrogen fuel cell bus in North America

New Flyer of America, a subsidiary of New Flyer Industries Inc., the leading manufacturer of heavy-duty transit buses and motor coaches in the United States and Canada, conducted the inaugural road demonstration of the Xcelsior XHE60 heavy-duty articulated fuel cell transit bus. Representatives from two major transit Authorities—Alameda County Transit (AC Transit) of California, and Metro Transit of Minneapolis, Minnesota—participated in the vehicle’s debut and demonstration.

Based on its Buy America compliant and proven Xcelsior X60 heavy-duty transit bus platform, New Flyer partnered with Ballard Power Systems Inc. and Siemens to develop the propulsion system. The bus will be operated in revenue service by AC Transit for 22 months following the completion of a comprehensive evaluation at the FTA’s Altoona test facility.

Following this, New Flyer intends to offer these hydrogen fuel cell-electric 60-foot buses to customers throughout the United States and Canada.

The propulsion system includes a combination of batteries, a fuel cell, and hydrogen storage that allows the fuel cell to operate at a relative steady-state, while the batteries capture both braking energy and provide power for bus acceleration. The bus is targeted to have a range greater than 250 miles without refueling or recharging.


Ballard Power Systems is supplying its next-generation fuel cell power plant that is smaller, lighter and less expensive than existing models. Vanner is providing two DC to DC Converters for 24VDC.

New Flyer is the sub-recipient of a Federal Transit Administration (FTA) Grant administered by CALSTART, a non-profit organization that is focuses on clean air technology commercialization with business, fleets, and government. The FTA’s National Fuel Cell Bus Program is a cooperative initiative between government and industry to advance the commercialization of fuel cell technology in US transit buses. The goals of the program include facilitating the development of commercially viable fuel cell bus technologies, improving transit bus efficiency and reducing petroleum consumption, and reducing transit bus emissions.



What a waste of money...


The Excelsior X-40 (40-ft) bus is available as a diesel and as an all electric city unit.

The Excelsior X-60 (60-ft) bus is an articulated bus and is available as a diesel unit and/or as a FC unit.

Best Western heavy trucks are available as diesel units.

Short of 10-10-10 (400+ kWh quick charge battery packs), FC units coupled with super caps may be the solution for clean running large buses and heavy trucks.

Of course, large H2 stations will have to be built at city bus depots and at every 400 Km or so on main highways for inter-city buses and trucks.

Many of the above H2 stations could be used by the general public for their FECVs.

Henry Gibson

The economics of hydrogen use in fuel cells show them to be too expensive to buy and to operate. Battery powered buses are more CO2 efficient even if H2 is made with solar energy because the losses involved make it more efficient and lower cost to charge a battery than to make hydrogen and put it into a fuel cell. Making sodium to use in a fuel cell would be more efficient. Overhead charging rails can be put at any stop in any city if necessary. ..HG..

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